A walk had been planned for Mike and Anne, but their new kitchen intervened and forbade their attendance, so a closer venue was chosen, and a few folk were circulated with details at very short notice.
So it was something of a surprise that nine people and a dog turned up at the Wizard car park at 9.30 am for a morning stroll in the Cheshire countryside.
It really was the best weather imaginable – pleasantly warm with very little breeze – and the company was also excellent, with Steph and Ruby joining us for the first time and Graeme making his first appearance for many years, having relinquished the need to visit his workplace every day!
Thanks for coming, everyone, it was a morning to remember.
I’m not going to recount every detail of this walk, but I have uploaded a few photos here – not very good I’m afraid, I was distracted by the need to ‘micro navigate’ which I appreciate I wasn’t to hot on either!
Here we are on ‘The Edge’ shortly after setting off.
It was a pleasure to walk through the Cheshire countryside today, though I was glad of the waterproof liner sported by my new trail shoes. Others found the dew to be somewhat penetrating…
Wood Anemones and Marsh Marigolds were in full bloom in the woodland glades, together with Lesser Celandine (pictured below), whilst the Butterbur that lined the banks of the River Bollin looked distinctly ‘past it’.
At Goose Green Farm a swallow was busy hunting for flies – a resident told us that the first swallows arrived here about a week ago. Buzzards floated high above us in the distance, below a crescent moon that was hardly visible in the bright blue sky.
We found this lovely spot for elevenses after a minor mis-navigational incident. CCS was supplied all round, and nobody seemed to be complaining.
All too soon, we found ourselves back at The Wizard at 1.40 pm, where some went straight home and the rest of us had a minor battle to get some bowls of soup that they seemed reluctant to serve that late in the day. Ridiculous but true. The beer was nice.
Here’s the route – the blue line should enable a reader to follow this walk on Explorer map No 268 (OS 1:25000), which is recommended as the 1:50000 scale map is a little short on detail. Note that the direct path between points 5 and 6, along the west bank of the River Bollin, is currently closed due to the river bank having collapsed near Mill Farm. Don’t be put off by the fact that you pass a sewage works – it’s next to a very pleasant wooded section of the Bollin valley.
The walk is about 14 km (9 miles) with around 230 metres of ascent. We took just over 4 hours at a very leisurely pace.